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Great songs, bad mix - 75%

Muloc7253, August 16th, 2010

The production on this kills it a bit for me. It should be a lot better than it is really, when it kicks in after the rolling orchestral intro, those savage riffs and lightning-fast drums, combined with the thunder sounds and Ihsahn's shrieked vocals ("as the darkness creeps across the Northern mountains of Norway, and the silence reaches the woods, I awake and rise...") it really sets the listener up for a journey through "wastelands of phantoms lost" and "great vast forests".

And I won't lie, it does deliver. 'Comic Keys to my Creations and Times' is especially a highlight, some excellent melodies and it flows really well, and of course everybody knows 'I Am the Black Wizards'.

But - the overall sound really ruins what is (probably) great music. The guitar tone is really softly-rounded, and making a lot of the riffs really indistinct if not inaudible beneath the overly loud keyboards and thundering drums. People talk about how hard the album sounds when it kicks in, and how great that main riff is in 'I Am the Black Wizards', but don't much talk about the stuff in the middle. They just went too far trying to create that wall-of-sound and ruined it a bit for me, even if the material is still good I can't help but feel a better, perhaps less grandiose production job would really improve 'In the Nightside Eclipse', but as it is its an album with great songs and a terrible sound. Shame.

My version has two covers as bonus tracks, Mercyful Fate's 'Gypsy', which is an excellent rendition (second highlight after 'Black Wizards') and Bathory's 'A Fine Day to Die', which doesn't sound much different from the original.